Monday, June 25, 2012

Easy Grad Gift

As a mom of three, I carried a diaper bag for many years with all the things my kids needed.  As they got older, the bag evolved and got smaller and I was able to carry it in my handbag...when I finally got to carry a handbag.  My grown kids still call it my diaper bag even though it is small and I am generally the only one who uses it now.  In it I carry a nail file, nail clippers, hand sanitizer, Band-aids, Advil, lotion, hair ties, personal items, etc. - you get the idea.  I decided to make one of these for each of my graduating Laurels.  Many of the items included were in the sample sections of local stores.  I was excited to find that Walgreens has the nail files and clippers in their bargain bins  

I bought an inexpensive bag and loaded it with these small items, added a few color coordinated beads and a blank with their initials on it.  The final touch was a ribbon and a list of what was in their bag. 

This would also make a great activity.  The girls can sew their own individual bags and then load them with things they might need.  They're small enough for their handbags, backpacks, or lockers.  I hope they'll find them as useful as I have.

You can find other variations on this theme:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jewelry Hanger

My MIA Maids made this jewelry hanger on a class activity night.  There are tons of different takes on this idea on Pinterest.  The girls loved them and had a good time making them.  I had several old frames and got a couple more at the thrift store.  You can always have the girls bring one from home.  I purchased the screen door mesh and the cup hooks at the hardware store.  I was excited to find the mesh at about $5 for a small roll.  We got right to work painting the frames.  My YW are of the opinion that if a little paint is good, lots of paint must be better so we had to have time for them to dry before we could place the screening and embellishments.  I had the craft paint and the flowers at home.  The mesh is attached to the back with staples and we added some wire for hanging.  It was about a 1 1/2 - 2 hr project (counting drying time).  If I had been wise, I would have spray painted the frames prior to their painting their individual designs because some of the paint on my "demo" peeled off.  Next time.  It was a kick to see their personalities come out in their designs and choice of colors.  We talked and had cookies.  It was a fun night.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Plain and Simple

I am a convert to the Church and I love the Gospel.  It has always amazed me how a testimony or song can speak right to your soul and testify of the Divinity of God, of his Son, Jesus Christ, and the truthfulness of the doctrine.  I remember, as a young adult, the first time I heard "The Spirit of God."  I walked into a room filled with other young adults who were in the midst of singing just prior to a fireside.  I cannot describe the overwhelming feeling of the Spirit that I felt and now, many years later, I still remember that evening. 

Nephi stated "For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men.  For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding." (3 Ne 31:3)  

Sometimes I think, as leaders, we want so much for our YW to "get it" that we can go a little overboard.  It's not hard to do.  We want them to feel the Spirit, to be touched, to leave us with a testimony that will take them to the Temple and throughout their lives.  However, I am of the belief that simplicity is elegance.  Although I like to have an attention-getting idea, handout or object lesson, I do not believe in doing too much.  Sometimes, in our zeal to have a super activity or lesson, we can lose site of the principle we teach.  We want to magnify our calling, to go the extra mile but we should ask ourselves:  Can our youth hear the Still Small Voice or is it lost in the cacophony of extras?  Helaman stated:   "It was not a voice of thunder, neither was it a voice of a great tumultuous noise, but behold, it was a still voice of perfect mildness, as if it had been a whisper.” (Helaman 5:30)

I enjoyed Elder Uchtdorf's counsel in General Conference when he stated,  "Dedicating some of our time...preparing to teach a lesson is a good sacrifice.  Spending many hours stitching the title of the lesson into homemade potholders for each member of your class may not be."  (Don't you love how the Brethren are so in tune?)

Whereas, I believe it is appropriate to have a few special activities, we are called to invite the girls to come unto Christ, to help them find their way to the Temple, and to give them a safe place to be with friends.  We are not there to entertain them or spoil them.  We are there to love them.  We are there to bear witness of Jesus Christ.  That is often all we need to do.